Killerton's fashion collection visited by Heritage Lottery Funded project group

The project group visited Killerton, Devon to see the historic dress collection
Published : 16 Nov 2015

The 'Changing Fashion Across Cultures' project offered a group of participants the chance to learn about British and worldwide fashion history and to reflect on the relationship between dress and identity.

A exhibition at the Barnfield Theatre in Exeter will mark the culmination of a six month project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Launching on 23 November-21 December, the project has been delivered by Devon Grapevine and Olive Tree, in partnership with Hikmat Devon cic and Refugee Support Devon.

The group, that involved 32 people from over 15 different countries, enjoyed curator-led tours of historic fashion collections across Devon including Killerton, the RAMM museum and the Devonshire Collection of Period Costume. 

" Devon Grapevine and Olive Tree works with people who have settled in Devon from all over the world. The idea was hatched during a casual chat with colleagues about when, how and why we dress differently - in different places, at different ages, and at different times in history. Our local Heritage Lottery Fund project officer, Angela McTiernan, was very supportive and encouraged us to develop this initial idea into a successful funding bid."
- Tat Ruck, Manager of Devon Grapevine and Olive Tree

The group enjoyed a led visit to Killerton House to explore the current fashion exhibition with the costume team and took part in a workshop. During the workshops, the group explored how and why fashion changes over time and across continents, through discussion, object handling, and creative reflection upon personal and cultural experiences of clothing. The artworks created in the workshops now form the centrepiece of the exhibition. 

" Both the National Trust and RAMM have incredibly rich collections in their care. So many of these textiles and garments have been imported from other countries, and techniques used to make and decorate British fabrics inspired by those of other cultures. It is only through sharing and hearing reactions and responses from our audiences that we can begin to reveal some of the histories and messages hidden in the folds of the clothing in our collections. It has been a great pleasure to share some of these fascinating pieces with the group, to exchange ideas, and to inspire new work."
- Shelley Tobin, Costume Curator at Killerton


The free public exhibition by Devon Grapevine and Olive Tree launches on 23 November - 21 December at the Barnfield Theatre in Exeter. The community heritage project ‘Exploring Changing Fashion Across Cultures’ will exhibit photography, historical and cultural information, and handcrafted wall-hangings telling tales of fashion heritage from all over the world. 

Killerton's 2015 fashion exhibition enters its final few weeks between 21 November -3 January, 11am-4pm (closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day amd Boxing Day)